About Jesus College/Our community/ People
Dr Kelsey Sasaki

Roles and subjects

Junior Research Fellow in Linguistics



Academic Background

I received my BA in Linguistics with a minor in Irish Studies from New York University in 2014. I did my doctoral studies at University of California, Santa Cruz, completing my PhD in 2021. Later that year, I came to Oxford as a John Fell Postdoctoral Research Assistant in Linguistics – working with Jesus College’s Prof. Daniel Altshuler – and Junior Research Fellow of the College. I am continuing in my position at Jesus College, and as of October 2022 am a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in the Faculty of Linguistics, Philology, and Phonetics.

Undergraduate and Postgraduate Teaching

Pragmatics and psycholinguistics.

Research Interests

My primary research interests are in the areas of pragmatics, psycholinguistics, and semantics. I am particularly interested in the subconscious mental processes that allow us to consciously understand and recall narrative discourse. To study those processes, I merge theoretical insights from formal pragmatics and psychological models of narrative comprehension to generate hypotheses that can be tested with a range of psycholinguistic experimental methods.

I am also a linguistic fieldworker. During my doctoral studies, I worked on syntactic variation in Hawai’i Creole—one of my family languages. I also began working with speakers of Santiago Laxopa Zapotec, an indigenous language of Oaxaca, Mexico. In collaboration with these speakers and with UC Santa Cruz linguists, I have worked on projects including experimental research on the comprehension of relative clauses and public education both in and about Santiago Laxopa Zapotec.


Subject notes for courses taught at Jesus College:

See also the departmental website.